An Investigation into the Utilization, Perception and Sources of Knowledge on VCT Services among the Youth in Selected Public Diploma Colleges in Nairobi, Kenya

Joyce Oloo Asuke


Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) services have become one of the most common means of preventing, detecting and improving access to care and support to HIV/AIDS. However, the extent to which these services are utilized by the youth remains a big question. This study attempted to examine the utilization of these services by the youth in selected public diploma colleges in Nairobi. Further the study sought to find out the following: utilization of VCT services among youth, the perceptions youth have on VCT services, the sources of information and knowledge about VCT Services, and the measures that can be taken to improve on the use of VCT services among youth in public diploma colleges in Nairobi. The study employed descriptive cross-sectional design with a sample size of 200 students in the five major public diploma colleges. The tools used for this study were questionnaires and data emanating from the study was analyzed. Most of the students (89%) were generally aware of the existence of VCT services in their respective regions with majority of them 150(75%) being in fear of utilizing the services offered. However, majority of the students 149 (74.5%) found VCT services friendly. Further, 150 (75%) of the students indicated that they were prompted to utilize VCT services and one of the key lesson learnt according to a majority students 148 (74%) was that “HIV/AIDS is real”. Other lessons learnt by some, 20 (10%) of students is that life can be prolonged using A.R.Vs when one is infected. The study found out that utilization of VCT services in selected public diploma colleges had a positive influence on students’ attitude, perception and moral behavior and most of the students got their information and knowledge from media 142 (71%). Further, very few students indicated that they had3positive perception concerning utilization of Voluntary Counseling and Testing services in fulfilling their personal social needs, knowing their status and future career advancement prospects. The study found out that utilization of Voluntary Counseling and Testing services in most public diploma colleges in Nairobi District has been hindered by a number challenges such as attitudes and perception towards going for test, stigmatization, lack of parental guidance on issues pertaining HIV/AIDS and support and lack of understanding of risks. To overcome this hindrance, respondents suggested increased awareness, availability and accessibility of VCT services. These findings have deep implications in contributing towards implementation of sound policies guiding voluntary HIV and AIDS counseling and testing among college and university students in Kenya.


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